EDUCATION Secretary Nicky Morgan has pledged the Government will honour its commitment to fairer funding as she visited Worcestershire schools.
At a meeting with county headteachers last Friday (November 6), Mrs Morgan confirmed Worcestershire schools will receive a cash boost which Conservatives promised in their election manifesto.
Pupils in the county receive £987 less in funding compared to their counterparts in Birmingham, but it’s hoped the £6million in extra funding announced so far will help to reduce the gap.
During her visit Mrs Morgan told the Observer that by 2020 she wants to be able to tell Worcestershire schools that there funding is fairer.
“We as a Conservative Party made a clear manifesto commitment to have fairer funding and what we want to see is the same pupils with the same needs attracting the same funding in different parts of the country and we are at the moment in the Department looking at that,” Mrs Morgan said.
“The funding for 2016/17 has now been announced and we’ve already put in an extra £390million, which Worcestershire benefits by £6million, starting in 2015 and again in 2016.
“The Prime Minister has been very clear we are in this Parliament, in this Government, to implement our manifesto commitments and we had a manifesto commitment for fairer funding.
“So I’m sure that’s something the Prime Minister will be asking in 2020 are we there, and I want to be able to say to Worcestershire and lots of other places across the country, yes, we feel that your funding is fairer.
However, the Education Secretary added schools in the county should consider using their reserves until the extra cash kicks in.
“We do also expect schools obviously to manage those budgets and to make those decisions schools up and down the country are having to make, and if that means having to look at reserves or other ways of making the books add up then that’s what schools up and down the country are doing,” she added.
Following her visit, Prince Henry’s High School headteacher Dr Tony Evans warned the additional funding has had ‘little impact.’
“The allocation of the £6.7 million to Worcestershire has been very much welcomed. However not all of this funding reaches schools because a significant amount, approximately £500,000, is withdrawn for other non-educational purposes,” Dr Evans said.
“Furthermore, this additional funding does not apply to students who are Post-16, so for schools like Prince Henry’s with very large Sixth Forms, the additional funding has little impact.
“Post- 16 funding has also been reduced nationally, to the extent that the additional funding does not make up, let alone match, the losses that schools with sixth forms are experiencing.
“This is putting quite a significant strain onto some schools in Worcestershire and therefore it is imperative that a National Funding Formula is introduced as soon as possible.”